Tonight I am feeling proud of myself. I did something that I usually count on Ray to do: hook up the receiver that came today to replace the old one from Direct TV. Normally, Mr. Mechanical goes in and sorts through all the wires from all our various media equipment, which includes not just a DVD, but also a VCR and even a laser disc player from the early 90’s. Plus, speakers for the big radio receiver that does other stuff, too, but I don’t quite know what. So, it’s wires galore – dusty as well as tangled – and as I said, Ray is the one who usually gets the vacuum cleaner and any new equipment and spends the necessary time to get it all sorted out, cleaned up and finally, hooked up.
But Ray is gone today to Ojai and I thought what a nice surprise it would be if I could have the new receiver set up and the television working for his return home tomorrow.
Well, that was 2 1/2 hours ago – so I wasn’t fast – and I did have to call for help from Direct TV and got the nicest young man who lives in Tulsa to help me, but I am proud to say our television is working like a little gem and so is our new remote.
I texted Ray and said, “Guess who vacuumed up all the dust, tidied up all the cords, even made sure the speakers work and then set up the television?”
His response: “Me?”
It’s funny how when you’re married or with a partner for a long time, you have domains that are yours and the other person has ones that are theirs. One of Ray’s domains is all things related to media, except computers since I spend lots of time on mine and need to know a thing or two. But put a television in front of me and give me a remote and I might as well be a monkey trying to figure out how to sew on a button. I have no concept how to switch from DVD to television and even how to find programs besides going channel by channel. Needless to say, I don’t watch tons of television and when I do, Ray is usually manning the remote.
Of course, it’s not that I can’t figure it out. It’s that I have had someone in my life for 34 years who can do it faster. So, I’ve let Ray do that for a good long time. He does the same with me in reference to a few things like the cooking. He occasionally wanders in and makes food, but for the most part the kitchen is my domain. I’m not totally sure that’s the greatest approach. As evidenced by this evening when I decided that it is ridiculous for me not to know how to plug in a few wires and get a television set up.
It was funny how great I felt when the television started working. The young man in Tulsa said, “You’ve done a good job.”
My response in an almost giddy tone, “I feel so empowered.”
I felt this same way when I learned to use a lawn mower after I married Ray. Or how to change a head gasket on my Volkswagen (not that I can remember at all how we did that way back when.) Still, it’s good to break out of the rut and try new things.
My Tulsa young man chuckled when I said how good I felt. “You should!”
So, Ray is pleased, and so am I. I even was able to see part of Ken Burn’s documentary on Mark Twain once I turned on the television tonight. Talk about fruits of my labor.
Okay, on that note, I’m headed to bed. I have a day-full of students tomorrow so I better get my beauty sleep.
I hope you all try something off your usual routine sometimes. Again, I can’t tell you how good it feels to conquer something that has been taunting you.
If you do venture out of your domain and into another realm, please be sure and let me know. I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section.